[Haskell-cafe] definition of the term "combinator"

damodar kulkarni kdamodar2000 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 24 06:09:52 CEST 2013

The word "combinator" is used several times in the Haskell community. e.g.
parser combinator, combinator library etc.

Is it exactly the same term that is used in the "combinatory logic" ?
A combinator is a higher-order function that uses *only function
application* and earlier defined combinators to define a result from its
arguments. [1]

It seems, the term combinator as in, say, "parser combinator", doesn't have
much to do with the "*only function application*" requirement of the
"combinatory logic", per se.

If the above observation holds, is the term combinator as used in the
Haskell community, properly defined?

In other words:

Where can I find a formal and precise definition of the term "combinator",
as a term used by the Haskell community to describe "something"?

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatory_logic

Thanks and regards,
-Damodar Kulkarni
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